Considering Cabinetry?

A few things to think about…

If you have ever tackled a kitchen or bath remodel then you know all about the rush of emotions that can be brought on by that prospect – enthusiasm about having a fabulous space after the remodel is complete, jitters about making so many decisions, and sometimes total fear about the intimidating task of selecting each and every fixture and finish.  For those of you considering a big construction project, RR+D is here to take the intimidation out of every aspect of your renovation, including choosing the perfect cabinetry to suit your needs.

Cabinetry is often the biggest investment you will make during a kitchen renovation, so of course you want to get it right!  There are so many considerations and decisions to make.  Will you choose custom or stock cabinets? Will you choose to refurbish your existing cabinetry? Purchase your cabinetry brand new? Will you select painted or stained cabinetry?  How much should you set aside in your budget?  Will you or should you change the layout of your current kitchen?

If you prepare yourself with just a little knowledge before you take on the cabinetry question, the task will not create such anxiety.  The key to having confidence in your cabinetry selection is about finding the perfect balance between three key elements – your budget, the look and feel you’re going for, and making the most of what you have through space planning.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself that will help guide you. Striking a balance in these three elements will ensure that you arrive at the ideal harmony between budget, look and feel, and space planning to achieve the best solution for your kitchen or bathroom cabinetry.

  • What is my cabinetry budget?
  • Is the current layout working efficiently for my family/cooking/living style?
  • Does my current space possess design quirks that I need to consider?
  • Is my current storage adequate?
  • What style or look/feel do I want accomplish?
  • What is my color scheme/palette? (One should take time in considering all incorporated components, such as, appliances, flooring, countertops, tile, lighting, and paint.)
  • What specialty features and accessories would be ideal? (lazy Susan, spice rack, specialty sized shelving, crown molding, soft-close drawers, etc.)
  • Will I be using existing appliances or purchasing new?


“I love my new space! The kitchen and floor and paint and tile are beautiful!  I love the colors Tina picked out – I have had many compliments on colors!  I especially love the reddish purplish brownish in the kitchen.  Tina and Steve have been amazing to work with. I gotta say – Riley’s Remodeling + Design has done a wonderful job.”

Jackie Pickett
March 2014

What is my cabinetry BUDGET?

You probably already have an overall budget in mind for your entire kitchen or bathroom renovation – but have you broken that budget down into allotments for cabinetry, tile, hardware, fixtures, appliances, labor and everything else that will go into the project?

Creating an itemized budget is the very first thing you should do.  Why?  Because you don’t want to be that person that has a killer Wolf or Viking range sitting in the middle of an empty kitchen. Its best to pencil out your need to have items vs. your want to have items up front…then you can be wise and creative regarding the distribution of your cash flow for your project. It will also give you a reality check regarding how much money each component costs as you look to hire a builder/contractor.   Keep in mind that you may need to make adjustments to your cabinetry budget (and possibly your budget in general) once you consider all the possibilities.

Does the current LAYOUT function efficiently?

Whenever you remodel a kitchen you have the option of moving things around.   Maybe you want to relocate the gas range to another wall or move the refrigerator or add some windows to bring in more light.  Keep in mind that it will always be easier on your wallet if you keep appliances and fixtures in their existing locations. However, it is a nice option and usually relatively easy to rework the existing layout into an arrangement that works better for you.

Does my current space have any DESIGN QUIRKS?

Maybe you have an awkwardly placed window or an oddly located closet that breaks up the flow of your kitchen or bathroom.  Perhaps your water heater is taking up a lion’s share of your pantry. Take note of all of these kinks and make sure they’re reflected in any cabinetry plan that you come up with.  You don’t want any surprises come installation time!

It may be that these very eccentricities that dictate whether you can use stock cabinetry or must have some (or all) of your cabinets custom made.  Knowing your options upfront will help you keep the budget in check.

Do I have enough STORAGE, or do I need more?

Have you missed having a linen cabinet in your bathroom, or is your kitchen in dire need of a pantry?  Even if you’re keeping your fixtures and appliances in the same location don’t think that means that you can’t go crazy changing up the cabinets themselves.  Consider breaking up runs of traditional upper and lower cabinets with a few cabinets that run from the counter top to the ceiling.  Or maybe this is your chance to finally rip out that soffit and raise your cabinets sky high, adding even more storage.  RR+D can design a plan for you that maximizes your budget and space.

What STYLE, LOOK + FEEL am I going for?

Whether it’s sleek and modern or rustic and intimate, it’s impossible to create a kitchen that you’ll be happy with without having a vision of the finished space.  If you haven’t already, now is the time to begin gathering your conceptual scheme of your ideal kitchen or bathroom. Put together an inspiration folder or vision board to store images of your favorite spaces.  Images are extremely helpful when you are discussing your wants and needs with your designer or builder/contractor.

These details will guide your choices throughout the renovation as well as impact your budget, so take notes and be as specific as possible.  You might ultimately have to scale back some of your design plans for more budget-friendly choices, but knowing what you like will help you achieve a similar look without blowing your budget.

Armed with answers to some of these pertinent questions, you will be ready to launch into plans for your new kitchen or bathroom cabinetry!  Balancing the three elements of cabinetry perfection – your budget, the look and feel you’re going for, and space planning considerations – should make the process much easier.  Of course, Riley’s Remodeling + Design are experts in this area and can help you make best selection to fit all your wants and needs!